Friday, May 29, 2015

75 Flaming Years. Saturday 30th May, 2015. Pentecost Saturday. St. Felix I, PM

75 Flaming Years - 1940-2015  Stokes Valley Volunteer Fire Brigade,  A 75th Jubilee Celebration !!! - Lower Hutt, New Zealand


  Saturday the 30th May 2015 dawned reasonably fine and clear, although a little on the cool side, at around 10 deg C, but a lot warmer than earlier in the week when we experienced overnight temperatures down to -2.0C and heavy frosts of -7.5deg C and -6.0 deg C on both Tuesday and Wednesday - the day after all that snow which dusted the hills quite low around Stokes Valley on the Monday earlier in the week.

Light dusting of snow on hills surrounding Stokes Valley


First snow on hills Stokes Valley since snowfall of 2011

7.5 deg frost following day of hill snowfall

Murphy's Law - forgot to cover frost sensitive plants like citrus spp.!

Good hoar frost coats everything right up to midday. 


 A 75th Anniversary Celebration (1940-2015) - Stokes Valley Volunteer Fire Brigade.  

Saturday 30 May, 2015

Actually, I wasn't planning to attend the celebrations, and noted that the morning was turning out fairly pleasantly weather-wise, with a bit of sunshine and little wind really to worry about, although the air was somewhat on the cool side, hovering around 13.0 deg C by midday.   And so, I figured, they were fortunate weather-wise, in striking such a pleasant day for their Anniversary, considering we were not too far off mid-winter in another month or so ...



Parents with young excited children were making their way on foot towards the Fire Station, by mid morning, and perhaps close to 100 cars were parked along our street leading to the Fire Station, during the morning ... so it was obviously big draw card, and a must-attend occasion for the local population...

However, a little before 1pm,  I decided, 'why not pop down to the Fire Station', handily, just down the road from where we lived ... camera in hand - just in case, and maybe do a blog on it ...'take it as it comes' ...


So, the whole thing was a pure 'hit and miss' affair, my deciding at the last minute, so to speak ... and as it turned out, I soon got involved and caught up in the excitement of the days event, even arriving as late as I did, quickly decided a 'blog' was on the cards, all I just needed was the o.k. and support from the Fire Station crew, which I quickly achieved once I introduced myself to the first unsuspecting Fire crew staff member, Lee, who in turn handed me over to Kat [see photos below] who soon introduced me to her fellow colleagues ... and my blog was now well and truly underway, thanks to these two kind ladies! 8-D   

It's not what you know, it's who you know! 8-D


The following pictures I think (and hope) give a snapshot of, and record the events and people involved in providing an interesting, educational and entertaining day, one of historical moment, on the 75th year of the Stokes Valley Volunteer Fire Brigade - a service performed purely on a voluntary basis, which I would warrant most never really give a second thought to, and thus we should never hesitate to show thanks and appreciation for their unselfish and caring attitude 8-) 



It was an ideal day, thankfully weather-wise, for families and others to join in the celebrations - the entertainment, fun and excitement, the free handouts-directed especially at the younger residents (whom I kept tripping over as I engaged with Fire Staff members in my 'journalistic' attempts to gather the necessary material for that 'blog'!), not to mention the tempting sausage sizzle and a chance to purchase some of the 75th Jubilee memorabilia which included mugs and t-shirts, at the desk reception inside the station - and they did that in large numbers, as it so turned out.  

By the time I arrived, early afternoon, the crowd was large by any standards, and probably exceeded 500 people at a conservative estimate as they lined the grassy field in expectation of the Grand Finale ... flames, smoke and all!   

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Programme - Street Parade and Open Day - Saturday 30 May, 2015


Street Parade starts travelling from Stokes Valley RSA to Stokes Valley Fire Station - involving approximately 30 fire trucks and other fire-related vehicles.


Open Day begins at the fire station -  with a chance to meet the fire fighting crew who serve Stokes Valley and surrounding areas, and examine various current fire trucks, and vintage fire fighting units ( especially 'SQWIRT" ).


Ladder Display


Kitchen fire display and Wainuiomata VFB Competition Team display


Road Crash Rescue demonstration


Kitchen Fire Display and Wainuiomata VFB Competition Team display


Boom Display


Grand Finale


Pictorial Review of the 75th Jubilee -Stokes Valley Volunteer Fire Service - Celebrating 75 Flaming Years 1940-2015

Saturday 30th May, 2015

"I wondered where all that noise was coming from?  8-D

The Big Day!

"O.K. chaps' - let's really give them something to talk about!"

Aw, he's so cute!

"I hate when they keep teasing me about my name! Why couldn't they have called me 'Flick' or something like that?"

Inside, where the fire engines sleep - looking outside at F.F. Public Display 75th Memorabilia Table and Sausage Sizzle !

Manning (?) the help desk! Names - I forget 8-(

- just joking

"Make sure he doesn't take any pictures inside my Fire truck, eh." - Lee Larson (Upper Hutt Operational Support) and Stuart Berkeley (QFF - Qualified Firefighter)

"I don't know about taking our pictures, though?

Kat Smith (Firefighter); Renee Moffitt (Firefighter); Lee Larson (Upper Hutt Operational Support)

"Go on, be a sport!" 8-)

"There, it wasn't so bad after all, was it now... but, but , why did you have to blink?" 8-D Kat Smith, FF Fire Fighter ( you'll have to remember to keep those pretty eyes open when you are aiming that hose now, ok?); Renee Moffitt ( FF Firefighter extraodinaire); Lee Larson (Upper Hutt Operational Support)

Standing Easy in front of Unit - Gordon Gibson ( SFFM); Damian Jackson (Qualified Firefighter); Steve Mercer (FF Firefighter  24 years);

Serious pose!

Benjamin Horn ( Firefighter) and Gordon Gibson (SFFM)

Phil Elworthy ( Chief Fire Officer)

Nerve Centre the Operations Room - where's the fire!

"how come I can't see any smoke?"

"This one is my favorite, 'cos it's got all that glittery feminine stuff on it!"  Kat Smith (Firefighter)  ... "Oh, that's cute!"  8-)

This blog has the official seal of approval  8-)?  Phil Elworthy, (Chief Fire Officer)


Crowd gathers to watch the Grande Finale long after the car 'flipped' earlier in the day - which I missed!

One way to get warm - and besides plants love CO2, and tolerate the other stuff !   8-)

  ...  that's what can happen when you leave the cooking unattended!

NISSAN LAUREL - fire sale ?

"Calling Flick!"

"No, sorry, Flick.   You're going to have to do better than that!"

S.O. Alan Cappleman and QFF Liam Cappleman (Father and Son)

"That's better, Flick, but don't let it all go at once!"

Phil Elworthy (C.F.O.)  and Gordon Gibson (SFFM)

That'll learn it a lesson, eh, Flick!"

"Cough, cough!  I think we might need a bit more H2O, Flick!"

End of a perfect day!

That was a good year! I should know 8-D  (and I've got the t-shirt to prove it as well...)


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